Apr 06, 2012 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
When the Cazenovia boys lacrosse team ventured to Marcellus Thursday night, it marked the start of a two-week stretch where it would play five consecutive road games and, through that, get a much better idea of what still needs to be worked on.
The Mustangs proved difficult enough, as the Lakers had to rally in the fourth quarter and go to overtime before claiming a 9-8 victory.
Marcellus had already played (and lost to) Skaneateles and CBA this season, so it was battle-tested. From the start, the Mustangs did everything it could to slow down the game’s pace, not allowing Cazenovia to run out and get into an offensive rhythm.
For a long while, it worked. They traded goals throughout a 4-4 first half, and in the third quarter the Mustangs sneaked in front, 7-6. Another exchange of goals followed, leaving the Lakers behind 8-7 late in regulation.
To that point, Ryan Cook and Connor Cannizzaro had carried the Lakers’ attack, Cook with four goals and Cannizzaro getting the other three. But with two minutes left, Clayton Goris put a shot past Marcellus goalie Chris Martin to forge an 8-8 tie.
Then, in the OT period, the Lakers worked the ball around until Cook, finding an opening, pushed through and beat Martin for the game-winnner, his fifth goal of the night.
Trevor Cross finished with 12 saves, two less than Martin. In defeat, Dalton Wenzel led Marcellus with three goals and two assists.
Before all that, the Lakers first had to get past Homer last Tuesday at the Sean Googin Sports Complex. And the start was brutal before the Lakers recovered, took charge late in the first half and pulled away to beat the Trojans 14-6.
Homer had remembered that Cazenovia beat them in last year’s Section III Class C semifinal, and were fired up at the start. Between a string of saves from goalie Jon Cottrell and goals from Conner Johnston (two), Brandon Maxson and Beau Riley, the Trojans bolted to a 4-0 first-quarter lead.
Awakened by Homer’s early surge, the Lakers inched back within 4-3 by the middle of the second period before unleashing the first of two decisive flourishes.
Cannizzaro’s second goal tied it, 4-4, at the 6:02 mark. Brad Nardella, off a feed from Cook, hit the go-ahead goal 48 seconds later, and just nine seconds after that, Cannizzaro took the ensuing face-off and beat Cottrell for the third goal in less than a minute.
By halftime, the Lakers led 7-4, and nursed the margin throughout the third quarter. Still, Homer would not go away, and early in the final period closed within 10-6.
So the Lakers put together another quick outburst. Cannizzaro’s fourth goal, with 5:53 left, ignited a rush where Matt Donovan and Nardella also converted within the next 30 seconds, putting the game out of reach.
All told, Cannizzaro had five goals, with Nardella getting four goals and one assist. Cook led in points, backing up his three-goal hat trick with four assists, as Donovan managed two goals and two assists. Alan Baldwin contributed an assist, too.
With the early scare from Homer and the OT drama at Marcellus behind them, the Lakers took a 3-0 mark into road games at Bishop Ludden and Onondaga this week.